stop cold(redirected from stopping cold)
stop (one) cold
To make someone or something stop or come to a complete halt immediately or very suddenly. Hearing the gunshot in the distance stopped us both cold. Boy, Samantha could stop you cold with her smile!
To immediately or suddenly stop or come to a complete halt. I don't know what happened. The engine was running fine a second ago but then just stopped cold! Both of us stopped cold when we hear the gunshot in the distance.
To immediately or suddenly come to a complete halt. I don't know what happened. The engine was running fine a second ago, but then it just stopped dead! Both of us stopped dead when we heard the gunshot in the distance.
stop someone cold
to halt someone immediately. When you told us the bad news, it stopped me cold.
on a dime
In a very small space, suddenly, as in That horse is so well trained it can turn on a dime. This expression alludes to the fact that the dime is the smallest-size U.S. coin. [Early 1900s]
Also, stop dead or in one's tracks or on a dime . Halt suddenly, come to a standstill, as in When a thread breaks, the machine just stops cold, or He was so surprised to see them in the audience that he stopped dead in the middle of his speech , or The deer saw the hunter and stopped in its tracks, or An excellent skateboarder, she could stop on a dime. The first term uses cold in the sense "suddenly and completely," a usage dating from the late 1800s. The first variant was first recorded in 1789 and probably was derived from the slightly older, and still current, come to a dead stop, with the same meaning. The second variant uses in one's tracks in the sense of "on the spot" or "where one is at the moment"; it was first recorded in 1824. The third variant alludes to the dime or ten-cent piece, the smallest-size coin.
on a dime
At a precise point; within a narrowly defined area: a sports car that stops on a dime.